Seattle Rep 2019/2020 Season Announced
Artistic Director Braden Abraham today announced Seattle Rep's new nine-play 2019/2020 season, which features the second Public Works Seattle production, two musical works, a world premiere, a Pulitzer-Prize nominated play, and more. To align with their vision of "theater at the heart of public life," Seattle Rep is also rolling out their new visual identity over the next few months, with a full campaign to be launched in August. With this announcement of the new season, Seattle will get a taste of what is coming at Seattle Rep.
"The first half of our new season features inspiring plays about 20th century trailblazers by two of the great playwrights of our time-Paula Vogel and Cheryl L. West," Artistic Director Braden Abraham stated. "The second half of the year will bring a riveting new drama by Lucy Kirkwood and classics from three giants of the canon: Sam Shepard, Oscar Wilde, and August Wilson. Next year, we'll also feature the world premieres of two brand new commissioned plays from Justin Huertas and Anna Ziegler - funny and poignant works that spin their own unique theatrical magic. And we'll kick off the entire season with Seattle Rep's Public Works production of As You Like It where artists and community members will join together to create an unparalleled production of participatory theater. We have an incredible line-up in store that truly reflects and elevates our vision of 'theater at the heart of public life.'"
The 2019/2020 season opens with a reimagined musical adaptation of Shakespeare's famous As You Like It, the second production of Seattle Rep's Public Works Seattle program. Seattle Rep has partnered with community-based organizations throughout the region to create theater of, by, and for the people rooted in the values of equity, imagination, and joy. In Seattle Rep's production, over 100 Seattle citizens will join professional actors and regional performance groups on stage to create As You Like It, directed by Timothy McCuen Piggee. Tickets to As You Like It are free - space will be very limited.
Next up is Indecent, a powerful drama from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive). Directed by Sheila Daniels, this Tony Award-winning play with music is a love story that charts the true account of Sholem Asch's controversial 1906 play, God of Vengeance. An ensemble of actors and musicians will bring to life one of the most engrossing scandals in theater history.
Seattle Rep Artistic Director Braden Abraham is set to direct the next play, The Great Moment, a witty and heartfelt world premiere. Written by Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51) and developed and commissioned through Seattle Rep's The Other Season program in the 2017/18 season, The Great Moment is a funny and poetic meditation on beginnings and endings, birth and age, and the moments of transition that mark our passage from life to death.
The season takes a musical turn during the holidays with the new, rousing musical portrait, Shout Sister Shout!, written by Seattle playwright Cheryl L. West (Pullman Porter Blues) and directed by Broadway writer and director Randy Johnson (A Night With Janis Joplin). Inspired by Gayle F. Wald's book Shout, Sister, Shout!, this new theatrical work tells the incredible story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe "The Godmother of Rock 'n' Roll" and how she became a legend who redefined the national and international music scene from the 1930s onwards.
Braden Abraham will direct the first play of 2020, True West by prolific, legendary playwright Sam Shepard. Called "Shepard's masterwork" by the NY Post, this outlandishly funny and unsettling Pulitzer Prize-nominated comedy gleefully detonates our misguided myths of family, identity, and the American Dream.
Recent Broadway hit and 2018 Tony Award nominee, The Children by Lucy Kirkwood is up next, performing on the Leo K. stage. This New York Times Critics Pick takes place in a remote cottage on England's rocky coast where we follow two retired nuclear physicists living through the devastation of a series of local apocalyptic events. The surprise visit of an old friend brings a shocking proposition.The Children is a potent drama - captivating and profound, with sincere wit.
Next, Seattle Rep will present the Manhattan Theatre Club production of August Wilson's Jitney, the eighth play in his "Century Cycle." Called "joyfully intoxicating" by The New York Times, Jitney is set in the early 1970s and follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss' son returns from prison, tempers flare, secrets are revealed, and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last.
Spring 2020 continues at Seattle Rep with a refreshing rendition of Oscar Wilde's famous The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Casey Stangl. This uproarious classic comedy of manners will indulge in the beloved mistaken identities, perambulators, and voraciously eaten muffins that this play has served up for over a century.
The season comes to a close with the world premiere of Lydia and the Troll, a new contemporary musical from Seattle playwright Justin Huertas (Lizard Boy) and co-created and directed by Ameenah Kaplan. Inspired by fantasy and folklore, yet grounded in Seattle's noted landscape and landmarks, Lydia and the Troll was commissioned by Seattle Rep and developed through The Other Season.
About the 2019/2020 Season: Public Works Seattle As You Like It Adapted by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery Music and Lyrics by Shaina Taub Directed by Timothy McCuen Piggee
September 6 - September 8, 2019 Bagley Wright Theater
Seattle Rep's Public Works family of community and professional actors join together to bring Shakespeare's As You Like It to life in a fantastical tale of faithful friends, feuding families, and nefarious suitors. Our fair heroine Rosalind is fleeing persecution from her uncle's court to unearth a new life (and hopefully love!) in the Forest of Arden. Amidst the beautiful trees, Rosalind steps into the unknown to find community and acceptance under the enchantment of the stars. All the world's a stage for our Public Works family and you are invited to run away with us into the wild.
September 20 - October 26, 2019 Bagley Wright Theater
A powerful drama from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, Indecent charts the true story of a controversial 1906 play, Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance. Indecent is a love story about the power of art to provide solace and light through the darkness. Following its recent success on Broadway, this critically acclaimed Tony Award-winning play with music comes to Seattle Rep featuring an ensemble of actors and musicians who bring to life one of the most engrossing scandals in theater history. The Great Moment By Anna Zeigler Directed by Braden Abraham World Premiere
October 11 - November 17, 2019 Leo K. Theater
As Sarah's grandfather is nearing the end of his life, her precocious young son Evan is at the beginning of his. The Great Moment, an intensely personal, relatable family story is about how, at different ages, we find ourselves - or lose ourselves. Written by Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51), this world premiere play is a funny and poetic meditation on beginnings and endings, birth and age, and the moments of transition that mark our passage from life to death. Shout Sister Shout! By Cheryl L. West Directed by Randy Johnson Created by Randy Johnson and Cheryl L. West
November 8 - December 22, 2019 Bagley Wright Theater "Long before 'women in rock' became a media catchphrase, Rosetta Tharpe proved in spectacular fashion that women rocked." Inspired by Gayle F. Wald's book Shout, Sister, Shout!, this new theatrical work tells "The Godmother of Rock 'n' Roll's" incredible story. Ambitious, courageous, and uncompromisingly public, Sister Rosetta Tharpe became a legend who redefined the national and international music scene in the 1930s and 40s. Experience her incredible life through this rousing musical portrait. True West By Sam Shepherd Directed by Braden Abraham
January 17 - February 15, 2020 Bagley Wright Theater
Two brothers from different walks of life - one a successful screenwriter, the other a restless drifter - clash while housesitting for their mother in a sweltering Los Angeles suburb. This outlandishly funny and unsettling Pulitzer Prize-nominated comedy by acclaimed late playwright Sam Shepard gleefully detonates our misguided myths of family, identity, and the American Dream. The Children By Lucy Kirkwood Directed by Timothy Bond
February 7 - March 15, 2020 Leo K. Theater
In a cottage on England's beautiful rocky coast, two retired nuclear physicists live a peaceful existence; however, the world around them has been crippled by an environmental disaster. The surprise visit of an old friend brings a shocking proposition. Recent Broadway hit and 2018 Tony Award nominee, The Children is a potent drama - utterly captivating and profound with sincere wit.August Wilson's Jitney By August Wilson Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
February 28 - March 29, 2020 Bagley Wright Theater
Every day's a hustle for Jim Becker and his neighborhood unlicensed cab company in Pittsburgh's gritty hill district of the 1970s. Faced with the devastating news that the city is about to shut down their business, this extraordinary group of survivors confront the circumstances that bind and divide them. The eighth in August Wilson's trailblazing, decade-by-decade cycle of plays, Jitney is a winner of the Drama Critics' Circle Award and Olivier Award for best play and is a stirring portrayal of Wilson's black American experience of the 20th century. The Importance of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde Directed by Casey Stangl
April 17 - May 17, 2019 Bagley Wright Theater
Jack Worthing is in a bit of a pickle. As a baby, he was abandoned in a train station, and now, in order to marry his beloved Gwendolen, he must prove his lineage to her eagle-eyed mother, Lady Bracknell. To make matters worse, Jack has been known to the entire town-and Gwendolen-as "Earnest" in his desire to lead an exciting double-life, and Gwendolen's about to get the shock of her life. This uproarious classic comedy of manners is full of mistaken identities, peramabulators, and voraciously eaten muffins and will have you in stitches faster than you can say "Bunbury!" Lydia and the Troll World Premiere By Justin Huertas Directed by Ameenah Kaplan Created by Justin Huertas and Ameenah Kaplan
May 8 - June 14, 2020 Leo K. Theater
Singer-songwriter Lydia feels held back. Maybe it's writer's block, maybe it's her not-so-perfect boyfriend. But when a mysterious stranger offers her the chance to change her life, she may end up sacrificing more than she ever imagined. Inspired by fantasy and folklore yet grounded in Seattle's noted landscape and landmarks, revered actor and playwright Justin Huertas (Lizard Boy) conjures up Pacific Northwest magic in this intimate new world premiere musical, Lydia and the Troll. About Seattle Rep Seattle Rep puts theater at the heart of public life. Founded in 1963 and winner of the 1990 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Seattle Rep is currently led by Artistic Director Braden Abraham and Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann. Over a season and throughout the year, Seattle Rep collaborates with extraordinary artists to create productions and programs that reflect and elevate the diverse cultures, perspectives, and life experiences of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle Rep's nationally recognized programs include the New Play Program, Public Works Seattle, the August Wilson Monologue Competition, Pay What You Choose ticketing options, and numerous audience enrichment and engagement opportunities including post-play panels, discussions, and community events.